Leveling up the gaming industry…


VentureBeat: Be Your Own Hero conference will celebrate women entrepreneurs 

Entrepreneur Sana Choudary wants women to learn the strategies they need to thrive as entrepreneurs in tech and gaming. So she’s starting a new conference dubbed Be Your Own Hero!

Pocket Gamer: VCs invest in games not platforms, says Yetizen CEO

Yetizen’s CEO Sana Choudary took the stage at AppNation in San Francisco to deliver some surprising, data-driven insight into venture capitalist investment in the games sector.

VentureBeat: YetiZen’s CEO says game investment patterns may surprise you

Game investments in 2013 aren’t following the conventional wisdom about how venture capitalists invest in the fast-growing sector. Sana Choudary, chief executive of YetiZen, crunched some numbers based on data collected by the Raymond James investment bank and Crunchbase.

Gamasutra: Launch of the 1st YetiZen Boot Camp Program for Latin American Game Studios

YetiZen, the wildly popular accelerator for gaming companies and the host of the YetiZen Innovation Lab has launched its first ever boot camp program for game studios coming from emerging gaming ecosystems.

100% Indie: Createrria Turns Game Making Into a Game

The indie team of Wojciech Borczyk and Jakub Duda have worked for the big studios and publishers across Poland, as well as having launched their own indie studio. But the duo shared a vision of facilitating others to enter their own gaming imaginariums (is that a word?) in the shape of Createrria.

VentureBeat: PlayFirst scoops up social targeting firm in acqui-hire (exclusive)

PlayFirst has acquired the two-person startup Big Head Mode to improve its capability to target its players with useful cross promotions.

VentureBeat: Grantoo’s branded game tournaments provide 6-times better mobile ad engagement

Tournament-game platform startup Grantoo announced today that it has delivered great results in mobile ad campaigns that go beyond typical banner ads. In campaigns with the Hilton Hotel Group and U.S.A. Networks, Grantoo shows ads to its mobile game players during brand-sponsored tournaments.

The National: Speciality to be name of the game

So where, then, is the start-up world headed in entrepreneurial hotbeds such as Silicon Valley and elsewhere? Some say the industry is moving toward fostering a more sustainable environment for niche ventures. Selfpubd, for one, is a publishing platform geared specifically at independent videogame developers. It launched last year and was accepted into a speciality accelerator programme, YetiZen, which is based in San Francisco and focuses entirely on growing game studio and platform start-ups.

Selfpubd Blog: From Starbucks to Sun to Selfpubd – A Tighter Focus is Good

“These sort of ‘silo-ised’ incubators and accelerators really help because not only does the focus and mentorship get more pointed and industry-specific but the investors you talk to are also better,” says Mr. Rosic.

VCJ News: The Gaming Venture Climate Heats Back Up

Gaming studios are faring better than platforms in today’s gaming-related startup ecosystem.

Pocket Gamer: Speeding to success: Business accelerator YetiZen reveals its latest round of hot start-ups

There are lots of mobile-focused incubators and accelerators spring up around the world. There’s Gamefounders in Estonia, Execution Labs in Montreal, Canada, and Right Pedal Studios in Brisbane, Australia. The best positioned and most established, however, is San Francisco-based YetiZen. It passed its first round of companies in July 2011, and the latest round is about ready to take their experience into the real-world.

VentureBeat: 2012 investment: Busting myths by looking deeper at the numbers

Within every investable vertical market there are views about what is and isn’t investable at a given period. But I find in gaming more than in others there are a lot more myths about the investment landscape. Many of these myths are promoted by none other than the investors themselves. What follows is a deeper dive into the investment numbers of 2012 and 2011 to set the record straight–bust the myths and verify what is true.

VentureBeat: Investors weigh in on falling game-startup valuations

When developer Zynga’s stock price crashed earlier this year, it took a toll on the larger game industry. The social-title giant’s stock meltdown meant lower payoffs for game deals, and the valuations of game-startup investments dropped accordingly. The topic came up at the recent investor panel at the YetiZen game accelerator.

Forbes: Forbes Visits Yetizen Innovation Lab recently visited the YetiZen Innovation Lab and spoke with CEO Sana Choudary and the CCO Japheth Dillman to find out how they effectively utilize the office space to build a gaming community and allow them to grow and fineness.

Gamesauce: Sana Choudary Discusses Get-In-The-Game Competition Winner RunWilder

As developers jump ship from jobs as game designers, producers, and developers at large game and film companies to start their own gaming startups, the competition for funding, partnerships and publishing deals are fierce. Accelerators, such as YetiZen’s Get-In-The-Game Competition are one way for developers to get their foot in the door.

Gamasutra: How Not to Suck at Developer Evangelism!

The new breed of evangelism in the developer world is an entirely different beast than traditional 「Sales」 roles previously seen. Here at YetiZen, by watching sponsors of our monthly events, we have seen many uber fail in their traditional sales approach and we have seen some smashing successes in the way Business Development teams romance developers to their new sparkly platforms. What are the characteristics that define these failures or successes? How can an evangelist convert developers to their platform?

Inside Social Games: How Zynga can turn its fate around in the next 6 months

Unless you have been living under a rock you have seen the doom and gloom stories of Zynga—low Wall Street confidence, falling stock price, demotion and resignation of major executives and the list goes on. Industry veterans say it’s because Zynga has been focusing on tactics and metrics rather than creativity and innovation. Game designers say the non-gamer turned gamers have finally realized Zynga is giving them glorified slot machines filled with clicking grinds and meaningless rewards and that just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Gamasutra: YetiZen launches the Innovation Lab, a 20,000 square foot games center in the heart of San Francisco

YetiZen, a cornerstone of the game development community that organizes the wildly popular San Francisco Game Developer’s Workshop series and runs the only games exclusive accelerator program, launched the YetiZen Innovation Lab today. The YetiZen Innovation Lab is 20,000 square feet of a games community center in the heart of San Francisco which is focused on empowering all aspects of the games community.

Gamasutra: Wizards Productions Accepted Into Prestigious YetiZen Accelerator Program’s August 2012 Round

AMMAN (August 25, 2012)– Wizards Productions announced today it has been accepted into the elite YetiZen Accelerator Program, a one-of-a-kind games accelerator program that helps post product and traction gaming startups strengthen their marketing, distribution, monetization and overall company strategy while connecting them with the largest network of early stage investors, venture capitalists and strategic investors and acquirers committed to games.

VentureBeat: Emota’s teddy bears can send hugs over the Internet

Paul To felt like a guilty son a few years ago. His father got sick, and so did his grandmother. But he was far away and couldn’t offer support. So the former venture program manager for Nortel thought about the problem and eventually founded Emota, a startup that allows people to offer loved ones emotional support from long distance.

Pocket Gamer: Frenzoo’s Simon Newstead on successfully launching 3D fashion game Style Me Girl as an RPG

The momentum in social mobile games is currently towards the so-called ‘mid-core’. It’s a younger, more male audience, but not everyone’s looking down the barrel of that gun. Hong Kong/US start up Frenzoo is taking a positively different stance. It’s all about making 3D mobile games for women…

Adways: Adways partner up with YetiZen

Adways has announced the establishment of US subsidiary Adways Interactive and its capital partnership with Yetizen. Yetizen is a San Francisco based gaming incubator which offers accelerator programs to game related start-ups around the globe. In 2012, Yetizen has had over 500 applicants for its program and Adways will partner up with Yetizen to provide the start-ups with knowledge and support for the Asian market.

Pocket Gamer: YetiZen workshop to lift lid on how to monetise in-game virtual economies

Startup accelerator Yetizen has announced it will be hosting a workshop to educate developers on how best to monetise in-game virtual economies…

VentureBeat: The Yetis are coming to you at GDC 2012

This year at GDC 2012, prepare for a Yeti invasion the likes of which has never been seen before! YetiZen will be bringing you the biggest bash you’ve ever seen at GDC on Wednesday, March 7 starting at 8pm at Ruby Skye…

Pocket Gamer: Submissions open for YetiZen’s second Game Pitch competition at GDC 2012

Furthering the cause of mobile gaming start-ups in the US and beyond, San Francisco-based incubator and business accelerator YetiZen will be at GDC 2012, hosting its second Game Pitch competition…

VentureBeat: YetiZen Get-In-The-Game Pitch Competition

YetiZen is excited to announce our second annual Get-In-The-Game Pitch Competition on March 8th. Become a part of the next big wave in mobile and social game development by participating in a contest where you’ll have the opportunity to present your product to an incredible audience of investors, entrepreneurs and game industry CEOs. If you’ve been looking to jump-start your fundraising efforts or are looking to take that next step towards business development, here’s your opportunity to woo and wow some of the most influential individuals in the game space!

Develop: YetiZen Accelerator Building Next Class of Gaming Startups

YetiZen, game studio and platform startup accelerator, today announced they are accepting applications from promising game companies to join the March 2012 round of YetiZen’s Accelerator Program. The application deadline is January 1 with rolling admission, so early submission is advised.

VentureBeat: Skillville Games launches skill-based tournament gaming site

Skillville Games is kicking off a new skill-based tournament gaming web site today. The goal is to bring tournament gaming into the modern world, where gamers can compete for cool prizes.

Inside Social Games: YetiZen’s Accelerator Program Shows Off Revamped Games, Services

Several graduates of the YetiZen accelerator program demoed a range of Facebook games and game-related products last week to an audience of investors and potential buyers. These products covered everything from niche games and tournament sites to developer tools and platforms.

Inside Social Games: Game Company Accelerator YetiZen Set to Release First Crop of Candidates to the Wild

YetiZen is a start-up accelerator dedicated exclusively to video game companies in the PC, mobile, social, and network download space. An accelerator is a company that educates or reorganizes an existing company or product and then connects it with sources of funding for long term growth. While we’ve seen one or two social game developers practice acceleration — notably Rocket Ninja Games and its relaunch of Wrestler: Unstoppable — YetiZen is the first platform-agnostic accelerator for games that we’ve ever heard of, taking in social, mobile, PC, and Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Network indie game start-ups.

StartupCentral: We Get Startups a Complete Set of Advisors: Sana Choudary

Last month, a new startup incubator, YetiZen, opened for business in San Francisco, which has seen a flurry of technology-focused incubators mushroom since early 2010. YetiZen is a specialist startup accelerator programme focused on game startups.

VentureBeat: YetiZen starts an incubator for game startups

The game industry is hot, with lots of companies chasing the success of social game darlings such as Zynga and mobile game successes such as Ngmoco. That’s why YetiZen is forming a new incubator to help launch game startups.

VentureBeat: VCs see tough and exciting landscape for game startups

The game industry has gotten a lot of love from venture capitalists lately. For many years, VCs invested a small amount of money into games compared to other hot investments such as social media. But in the age of Facebook and mobile gaming, that has changed.

Examiner: Developing for Facebook was like tantric sex

Developing for Facebook was like tantric sex was the title of Blake Commagere, Facebook gaming pioneer’s presentation at the SF Game Developer’s Workshop. In this aptly named presentation, Commagere offered a brief impression on what it was like to develop the first Facebook games.

Examiner: Bay Area video game professionals organize much needed meeting of the minds

This Tuesday, some of the sharpest minds in Bay Area game development gathered on the fourth floor of the Art Institute’s Civic Center Plaza building, attending the SF Game Developer’s Workshop. The night’s agenda was to discuss the continuously evolving social games industry, and what it takes to survive while still entertaining millions in fresh, new ways.

Applications for Good: K-factor and the new Madison Avenue

A few weeks back while indulging in an episode of Mad Men (AMC’s series about Madison Avenue advertisers in the 1960′s) I started to wonder how the advertising theory born there relates to game theory as is now being born in the labs and bedrooms of game and app designers around the world. On a blustery August night at the Art Institute of California, San Francisco, I got at least one answer from a trusted industry source at “How to Grow your Online Games for massive player engagement and revenue” hosted by Sana Choudary and Japheth Dillman.

SocialTimes: Expert Game Designers Explain Social Augmented Reality Gaming And Virality

Game developers around the globe are looking to move beyond the farming and restaurant games and utilize new mechanics that help them increase virality and revenue. According to the NPD group/Gamasutra US retail video game industry sales in January 2010 decreased 13% from the same time last year.